Bellator MMA president Scott Coker spoke recently with FloCombat and said he is planning on having Chael Sonnen, 39, and Wanderlei Silva, 40, fight next summer. There are several impediments to the fight. One is Wanderlei’s suspension
He ran, literally, from a PED test and was eventually suspended for life by the Nevada Athletic Commission. A judge ruled that arbitrary and capricious, and there was another hearing during which Wand’s suspension was reduced to three years. That ends on May 24, 2017.
Perhaps the fourth time is a charm.
“We’ve had a contract with Wanderlei Silva even before RIZIN ever got him on board,” said Coker toDuane Finley. “With the contract we have with him, he won’t be able to fight for us until he is cleared with NSAC. I think in May he will be cleared to compete for Bellator.
“Since Bellator contracted Chael Sonnen, believe me, we’ve been getting texts and calls from Wanderlei saying that he wants that fight. So, I think you’ll see that fight some time in 2017 for Bellator…It’s very difficult to pinpoint exactly when we can put it on, it’s kind of a moving target in a way, but I think some time in the summer for sure.”
“Wanderlei is still pissed about what happened between them and he wants that fight. It’s something personal for him. Honestly, I don’t really know what happened to make him that compelled to fight Chael, but I can tell you that he is not happy with what happened between them.
“With Chael, he’s down to fight anybody on any given day. It’s going to be something that we’ll try and map out when we sit down with both guys at the beginning of next year.”
“That’s going to be a fight where everybody stops whatever they’re doing to turn on the TV to see the fight. As we all know, that fight has been building for a number of years and they couldn’t work it out, but now I feel the timing is perfect.”
Another impediment to the fight is Wanderlei’s medical condition. Earlier this year he said he attended a seminar on concussion, and he had 12 of the 15 symptoms listed. The suspension is going away, but the symptoms of concussion might not. Wanderlei Silva is a warrior who has been fighting like a mad dog for the fans for now ten years; the sport owes it to The Axe Murderer to have him checked for potential damage to his brain.
A third impediment is that the fight is damn cursed. It was planned for UFC 173 on May 24, 2014. Then it was moved to The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 Finale. Then it was moved to UFC 175. Then both Wand and Sonnen had what you might delicately call PED test issues.
This is how long the fight has been going on for: